Lecture: “The Great Suiciding People Among Us”: German Americans and Suicide in the Nineteenth Century
Alison Efford, Associate Professor of History, Marquette University
Thursday, February 22, 2018
126 Memorial Library
When the superintendent of the census called German immigrants “the great suiciding people among us” in 1899, he confirmed the common wisdom of his time. Official statistics, social research, literature, newspapers, personal testimony, and suicide notes, implied that German immigrants were unusually suicidal. This presentation explores whether high suicide rates reflected the dislocation of migration or a set of cultural characteristics among German Americans as an "emotional community."